Planning for a long-trail ride on the weekend? Well, there’s more you need to think about than just bringing your horse and packing up. First things first—you have to make sure your horse is 100% ready and sound for a safe and fun trail ride.
Aside from the basic training exercises, here are five (5) things to teach your horse before going into the wild or elsewhere.
Obedience and Submission
At some point of the trail, you’ll surely encounter huge rocks, deep water, down canyons and other obstacles that your horse may refuse to walk through. When he says no, you’re going to have a big problem. But given the right leadership and training, he’ll be willing to respond to your instruction and go where you lead him. An obedient, willing, and submissive horse will walk and run stride for stride with you—wherever that is.
Trail riding comes with lots of uncertainties. Along the way, you may come across various situations that will leave your horse in shock. If he overreacts, everything could go wrong, so teach him how to keep a cool head and maintain a good disposition regardless of the situation around him. A good trail horse is calm and easily goes back to its natural temperament in tough circumstances.
When you’re riding in a group, your horse should learn independence from his trail mates. If he’s too reliant on the horse before him, he might not make it the entire journey. Likewise, if one horse acts up, yours might as well go with it. This is why you must gradually impart independence to your horse, so he can be more confident being on his own.
Your trail ride can become more exciting and enjoyable with a horse that can go anywhere without any issue—one that’s flexible and easygoing. Your horse can be exactly like this once he’s exposed to different surroundings and situations. When trained well, he’ll be more predisposed with new settings and mounts.
Willingness for Hauling and Loading
Loading problems tell a lot about your horse’s willingness to take you for a trail ride. A horse that respects and sees you as his leader will load willingly just as how you wanted. If you’re having trouble loading your horse, start with gaining his trust. Given enough time, he’ll be more willing to carry you on his back.
Before hitting the trails, don’t forget to teach your horse these five lessons. If he got perfect scores, then you can be fairly certain that your trail ride will go smooth and safe.